Updated Jul 13, 2018

Election Reminder from Secretary of State

Secretary Johnson urges voter registration ahead of August primary

Michigan votes websiteA statewide primary election in advance of the Nov. 6 election will be held on Aug. 7. 

People who aren't registered to vote have until Monday, July 9 to register at any Secretary of State office, or at their county or local clerk's office.

Check your registration status at the Michigan Voter Information Center at www.Michigan.gov/vote.

You also can view your sample ballot  as well as find your polling location and track your absentee ballot.

A list of primary candidates can be found online.

How you can get an absentee ballot

Voters who qualify may choose to cast an absentee ballot. As a registered voter, you may obtain an absentee ballot if you are:

  • Age 60 or older.
  • Physically unable to attend the polls without the assistance of another.
  • Expecting to be absent from the community in which you are registered for the entire time the polls will be open on Election Day.
  • In jail awaiting arraignment or trial.
  • Unable to attend the polls due to religious reasons.
  • Appointed to work as an election inspector in a precinct outside of your precinct of residence.

Absentee ballots must be returned by 8 p.m. on Election Day. That means that you should mail 5 business days prior to the Election or contact your local clerk to find out how you can drop it off.  

Visit us online to find out more.

ExpressSOS.com allows voters to change address

Many Michigan residents who already are registered to vote can change their official state address, including their voter registration address, online at no cost. 

Visit ExpressSOS.com and follow the simple instructions.

Voter ID reminder

Voters will be asked to provide identification when they visit the polls on Election Day. 

They will be asked to present valid photo ID, such as a Michigan driver’s license or identification card. 

Anyone who does not have an acceptable form of photo ID or failed to bring it with them to the polls still may vote. The person will be required to sign a brief affidavit stating that he or she is not in possession of photo ID. The ballot will be included with all others and counted on Election Day.

Find out more.

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This email was sent to jlausch@sjct.org using GovDelivery Communications Cloud on behalf of: Michigan Secretary of State · 430 W. Allegan Street · Lansing, MI 48918 · 1-888-767-6424

Carronde Playground

In February, the St. Joseph River flooded Carronde Park and severely damaged the park’s playground structure.  The Township filed for the loss of the structure with its insurance carrier and received a claim payment that  allows for replacement of the damaged equipment.   The new playground structure features an updated design that is ADA compliant.  The structure is expected to be delivered to the Township the week of July 12th and be installed the following week. 

State of Michigan Contacts

At the July 2nd Board Meeting discussion occurred regarding changes in speed limit laws and posted speed limit signs.  Residents were encouraged to contact state legislators to pursue a long term change in the laws affecting local speed limits.  Click here for contact information for State legislators who serve our area. 

No Wake Ordinance

First Reading  - July 2, 2018

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Law Enforcement Division

Special Local Watercraft Control

Berrien County

ST. JOSEPH RIVER, ST. JOSEPH CHARTER TOWNSHIP – WC-11-18-003 – Slow-no wake speed

On that portion of the St. Joseph River, Charter Township of St. Joseph, from the northern township boundary upstream to latitudinal line 42° 5’ 48.119” N, (42.0967), it is unlawful for the operator or a vessel to exceed a slow-no wake speed.

The northern township boundary is a mutual boundary with the city of Benton Harbor and can be approximated by where West Empire Avenue as extended westerly, meets the St. Joseph City Boat Launch on Marina Island on the opposite side of the river.

Latitudinal line 42° 5’ 48.119” N, (42.0967) can be approximated as an east/west line from shore to shore that intersects the northern most point of Hidden Isle.

“Slow-no wake speed” means a very slow speed
whereby the wake or wash created by the vessel would be minimal.

The boundaries of the area described above shall be marked with signs and/or with buoys and maintained by the Charter Township.  Public access sites within the area described above shall also be marked identifying this local watercraft control.  All buoys must be placed as provided in a permit issued by the Department of Natural Resources and be in conformance with the State Uniform Waterway Marking System.  Buoys shall not be placed in a commercial shipping channel.  This local watercraft control is only enforceable when clearly and properly marked.  Datum:  NAD 1983 Michigan GeoRef (Meters)

Coyote Attacks on the Rise in Michigan

Michigan residents are reporting an increase in coyote attacks on small dogs.  Coyotes are frequently seen in St. Joseph Charter Township.  At home, keep your dog leashed or maintained within a fenced area.  Never let your dog run free in Township parks or trails.  Not only is this important for the safety of your pet but it is also a Township Ordinance.   

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources advises:  Never approach, touch or intentionally feed a coyote.  Remove outside food sources, especially pet foods and bird feeders.  Put garbage out the morning of pickup.  Clear out wood and brush piles, which are good habitats for rats and mice and may attract coyotes.  Don’t allow pets to roam free when coyotes are present.  Keep them indoors or go with them outside, especially at night.  If you see a coyote, clap your hands, bang pots and pans, and make a lot noise to scare it away and let it know that this is your space.

Planning Commission Dates Changed

Due to the August 7th and November 6th elections the Planning Commission meetings for August and November will be rescheduled to August 14th and November 13th.


With all of the rain and warm weather we have had lately our lawns are really taking off.   Please remember to keep your grass and weeds 6" or shorter.  This includes your back yard and empty lots.    If you don't mow your lawn the township will and bill you a minimum of $75.    If you are having problems with your mower or lawn service please call the township and let us know. 

Yard Waste Pickup

Please put your yard waste at the curb on your normal trash pickup day.  Yard waste should be in approved paper yard waste bags or "yard waste" marked  trash cans.   Sticks may be wrapped in bundles less than four feet long.    Don't forget to bring your cans back to their storage spot next to your house or garage. 

It’s OK2SAY!

From State Senator John Proos

In the aftermath of the recent Florida school shooting, I am reminding students, parents and educators about Michigan’s OK2SAY hotline, a 24-hour confidential tip line designed to help prevent school tragedies.

Attorney General Bill Schuette and the OK2SAY program have done a fantastic job in helping protect Southwest Michigan students and save lives by providing students with a safe and easy way to report threatening behavior. OK2SAY is the state’s most effective prevention-based reporting mechanism. It received more than 6,600 tips last year and has logged nearly 12,000 tips since it launched in 2014.

OK2SAY is a confidential reporting system designed to allow Michigan students, parents, school employees, health officials and law enforcement officers to share and respond to safety threats.

Students can report tips by calling 1-855-OK-2-SAY (65-2-729), texting a message to 652729, emailing ok2say@mi.gov or filling out a form at www.mi.gov/ok2say. An app is also available in the app stores for iPhone and Android devices.

I am proud that Michigan has already implemented a successful program to help Michigan students feel safe — and be safe — at school. I encourage all area schools to take steps to promote OK2SAY and raise student awareness about this proactive initiative.

2045 Twin Cities Area Transportation Study (TwinCats) Long Range Transportation Plan

Click  www.swmpc.org/survey.asp to participate in the study by taking a survey.   There are three surveys: biking, walking, and driving on this site.  When you fill out a short survey you will be registered to win a Meijer gift card!.  The purpose of this study is to give a better understanding of how people travel in the Benton Harbor & St. Joseph area.  Input will help guide future transportation improvements and investments.

Parks & Recreation Plan Update

Please click here to see page 1-50 of the Parks & Recreation Plan.   Please click here to see page 51-102 of the Parks & Recreation Plan.


Report street light outages directly to Indiana Michigan Power at 1-800-311-4634 or online via their website at https://www.indianamichiganpow....  You will be asked for the nearest cross street or street address and the pole number.  The number is located on a metal tag about eye level on the street light pole.  If you don’t have internet access, you may report street light outages to the police department at 429-6890.

Image result for facebook logoCheck out our new Facebook Page!    (St. Joseph Charter Township with a picture of the hall).  Click https://www.facebook.com/St-Jo...to go directly.   If you "like" and "follow" you can be up on the latest posts for the township.   You can also get information at St. Joseph Township Police Department, https://www.facebook.com/SJTwp..., or St. Joseph Township Fire Department's Facebook,https://www.facebook.com/sjctf..., or https://www.facebook.com/Sjctf....

Master Plan  -  St. Joseph Charter Township passed a big milestone July 10th when the Board of Trustees formally adopted the 2017 Master Plan.  Many township residents as well as officials and staff contributed to preparation of the Master Plan with the guidance of Wightman and Associates.  Michigan law requires that all municipalities that have zoning authority have a master land use plan and use it as the basis for zoning decisions.  The plan should be reviewed every five years to make sure that it meets current needs.  The master plan contains an implementation guide.  Areas to be addressed include community/place, transportation/connectivity, natural areas/recreation, and economic development. Click here to view.

A new Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Law went into effect on July 1, 2015. Please feel free to review the updated documents below, and if you have any questions, contact the Township Clerk at (269) 429-7703.

                                         FOIA Request Detailed Cost Itemization

                                         FOIA Procedures and Guidelines

                                         FOIA Public Inspection of Records Policy

                                         FOIA Public Summary of Procedures and Guidelines

                                         FOIA Request for Public Records

Property tax information is available online at www.bsaonline.com. Our information is listed under “St Joseph Charter Township”, "Click Here" under the Berrien county blue bar. Tax inquiries for property owners are free for any property that they own. All other inquiries are charged $2.00 each. You may look at the history of the taxes for your property for the last twenty years, see current information, and print off duplicate bill information.  Just follow the directions to set up your account.  If you have any questions, please contact the Treasurer’s Office at (269) 932-0269.

Updated Jul 13, 2018

Special Meetings

Township Meetings

Township Board of Trustees 1st Monday of the Month 12 pm - Workshop 6 pm - Regular Meeting

Planning Commission 6:30 pm - 2nd Tuesday Monthly

Zoning Board of Appeals 7 pm - 2nd Wednesday (As Requested)

Meetings are held at the Township Hall and are open to the Public.

2018 Dates the Office will be Closed

Monday, January 1st - New Year's Day

Friday, March 30th - Spring Holiday

Friday, May 25th & Monday, May 28th - Memorial Day Weekend

Wednesday, July 4th - Fourth of July

Friday, August 31st & Monday, September 3th - Labor Day Weekend

Thursday, November 22rd & Friday, November 23th - Thanksgiving

Monday, December 24th & Tuesday, December 25th - Christmas

Monday, December 31 and Tuesday, January 1, 2019 - New Year's Day